Semester at Sea is a floating classroom

Ahoy students, it’s time to sail the seas of knowledge with Semester at Sea, a study abroad program open to students of all majors. The program involves students spending an entire semester traveling on a ship and taking courses. Founded in 1963, it is now managed by the University of Virginia.
Semester at Sea is available to all students attending Florida Gulf Coast University. The program is a non-FGCU program. This means it is a third-party provider program. FGCU has no formal relationship with the program.
The ship has sailed for the spring 2015 voyage already. The next voyage students can attend will be during fall 2015. The fall 2015 voyage will be 100 days long. Students will visit different countries.
According to Brent Spencer, the assistant director of study abroad, two to three students participate in the program every semester. “The ship has an auditorium and classrooms. It’s basically a floating university,” Spencer said. “It is a unique academic experience.”
The first step to look into studying abroad with this program is attending an information session, which is held every week. Students can register by going to http://www.fgcu.edu/ International/sasessions.asp. Students will eventually be directed to talk to Spencer to make sure the classes that they will be taking can be successfully transferred afterward. “The program offers a lot of different courses to choose from,” Spencer said. “There are also a lot of ways to finance it.”
Jordan Lansford, a senior majoring in finance, studied abroad with the Semester at Sea program. She was in the program for 79 days and visited 14 countries. Some of the countries she visited were Portugal, Norway and Russia.
Landford said Semester at Sea was unforgettable. “It was a life-changing experience that made me realize that everyone is really just a human,” Landford said. “Not only did I learn a lot about myself, but I made friendships that I will have for the rest of my life.”
Monica Scroggin, a senior majoring in environmental studies, sailed on the fall 2013 voyage. She took four classes during her semester at sea while visiting 15 countries. Some of the countries Scroggin visited were Brazil, Morocco and Spain.
“It is very hard to truly describe how incredible the experience was,” Scroggin said. “When they say it’s a ‘once in a lifetime experience’ they truly mean it. Semester at Sea has allowed me to visit some of the countries I never even dreamed of visiting because I never thought it would be possible. Now my bucket list is endless.”